Ars Robotica

designing the future of human/robot relations

Ars Robotica is a transdiciplinary initiative in robotics and the arts

Our Mission

  • advance robotics research through the methods and insights of the arts

  • produce creative, thoughtful, and compelling public experiences


YOU n.0

a triptych

Two clowns, an aerialist, and a robot walk into a tent…

YOU n.0  is a series of performed metaphors about the past, present and future of human/robot relations, a circus meditation on the ages of the individual since modernity. It features Baxter, an industrial robot from Rethink Robotics, interacting with clowns, an aerialist, and a behind-the-scenes team of designers, programmers, and technicians.

Lead artist:  Lance Gharavi
Lead roboticist:  Sai Vemprala
Sound & Systems designer:  Steve Christensen 
Costume designer:  Kelsey Christian Maryanne Kelly
Production Manager: Kara Chesser
Performers:  Lauren Breunig, Brian Foley, Chelsea Pace, Baxter (a robot) 


The Mirror

How can we teach a robot to perform? To dance?

Young performers start to learn their craft through imitation. Beginning dancers learn by imitating more experienced dancers. A common exercise in early actor training is “The Mirror,” where one performer precisely copies the movements of another. 

This is where we began with Baxter.  

Our aim is to produce autonomous, fluid, expressive behavior. 


Progress of research


Selected as a Transdisciplinary “Exemplar” Project by The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru)

Lead Artist: Lance Gharavi
Roboticists: Srikanth Saripalli, Sai Vempralla
Systems Design: Matthew Ragan, Ian Shelansky
Sound Design: Steve Christiansen
Movement Analysis: Becky Dyer
Dancer: Molly Schenck



designing the city of the future


Robotopolis is a city for robots.

A collaboration with the Center for Human, Artificial Intelligence, and Robot Teaming (CHART), Robotopolis will serve as a testbed for interacting teams of autonomous and remotely piloted vehicles. This project is in-progress.

To build the future, we start small.